How To Represent A Community

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Isabelle Hunter

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As the years go by, LGBT+ representation in the media is supposed to be getting better, but that isn’t always the case.

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How To Represent A Community

2016 was a big step for the LGBT+ community in the media, specifically in films, with Moonlight having received the award for Best Picture; however, 2017 wasn’t as eventful. In an annual report conducted by GLAAD, LGBT+ representation in 2017 was the lowest it has been since 2012. Not only that, but fairly often when a gay or transgender character is included in any sort of movie or book, they are portrayed poorly.

It is not uncommon for an LGBT+ character to be marginalized in the media, which means they are treated as insignificant and a minor importance. This is shown as most gay, bisexual, or transgender characters are supporting characters or only mentioned a few times. If they aren’t a supporting character, there’s a good chance they are simply used as the ‘punchline.’

Overall there is simply a lack of LGBT+ content in the media, whether it be in television shows, movies or books. Part of this could be from the fear producers and tv channels have about losing certain viewers due to the incorporation of more LGBT+ characters and topics.

“I think a lot of people who just produce ‘straight media’ only get straight viewers,” sophomore Alison Weiser said. “They’re missing out on all these LGBT viewers that could fill in the blanks of people who don’t want to see it.”

Despite that, 2018 has taken a step in the right direction by producing movies such as Love, Simon, a story about a gay teen who gets outed and must deal with the weight of being different from everybody else.

“All this new stuff [is] showing up; I think we as a society have kind of moved really far forward in that sense,” Weiser said. “Gay marriage is legal, pride is a big deal [and] all sorts of other nice stuff.”

In recent years, the LGBT+ community has been gaining more support and attention. If these trends continue we just might be able to live in a world that is closer to equal representation for everyone.

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